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June 28, 2016 / 22 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘European Union’

‘Bye Bye Brussels!’ – Britain Votes to Leave the EU

Friday, June 24th, 2016

British citizens are done with being one of many — 28, to be precise — and they made their views clear in a referendum Thursday with a vote to leave the European Union.

They wanted their borders back, their own British Pound Sterling, thank you, and the safety of being able to make their own security decisions.

The vote was called late Thursday night at 52 percent in favor of ‘Brexit’ as the leaving was called, and 48 percent against, according to ITV and the BBC.

Prime Minister David Cameron, who said his position would be ‘untenable’ if the country chose not to remain within the EU, now finds himself having to decide his next move. Cameron had warned there would be “no turning back” if the UK were to separate itself from the European body, looking at the impact on banks and other financial institutions as well as other issues.

UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage described a poster showing a line of asylum seekers as “a statement about the whole of the European Union,” according to CNN. Farage delivered a victory speech to supporters upon hearing the news of the final results at a polling station in Birmingham.

The ‘victory’ may be a bit premature, however: Scotland warned from the outset that should England decide to leave the EU, the decision would launch a discussion about whether or not to hold another referendum on whether or not to secede from the United Kingdom.

Should Scotland vote for independence, the UK decision to leave the European Union — which may ultimately lead to the disintegration of the EU — will have led to its own dissolution as well.

Analysts around the world are now weighing the effect of the British decision on the world economy and it impacts individual nations along with their currencies, pension funds and banking systems. It is also not clear what effect this will have on the British Jewish community both in the United Kingdom and abroad.

In trading Thursday night, the British pound Sterling fell against the U.S. dollar and against the euro; however, the euro fell against the Japanese yen as well. All three stock markets dropped, and were set to open lower on Friday.

Political leaders in Europe are now deeply concerned that the split that exists in England may continue to divide other member states in the EU, prompting them to leave as well and perhaps lead to the dissolution of the entire European body.

Hana Levi Julian

Israeli President to EU Parliament: No More ‘Negotiations for Negotiations’ Sake’

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

By Jesse Lempel/TPS

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin addressed the European Parliament on Wednesday, including foreign ministers of the EU member states, and issued a sharp rebuke of the international community’s approach toward Israeli-“Palestinian” peacemaking, arguing that the recent French initiative “suffers from fundamental flaws” and that efforts should be focused on building trust among the parties rather than striving for a permanent peace deal, which he described as a “chronicle of a predictable failure.”

Rivlin, a former right-wing parliamentarian who has refashioned himself in the presidency as a strong voice for unity and tolerance, pointedly dismissed recent European peacemaking endeavors, including the French initiative conference adopted by the European Union Council last week.

“The attempt to return to negotiations for negotiations’ sake, not only does not bring us near the long-awaited solution, but rather drags us further away from it,” Rivlin said. “The French initiative suffers from fundamental flaws.”

“If the international community really wishes and truly aspires to be a constructive player, it must divert its efforts away from the renewal of negotiations for negotiations’ sake, and toward building trust between the parties, and to creating the necessary terms for the success of negotiations in the future,” Rivlin added. “In the current circumstances, we must all ask ourselves ‘what can be done today’, rather than, ‘what cannot be done.’”

Rivlin argued that a true peace deal is not practical today and its pursuit is a doomed enterprise.

“Currently the practical conditions, the political and regional circumstances, which would enable us to reach a permanent agreement between us – the Israelis and the Palestinians – are failing to materialize,” Rivlin claimed, citing the split between the Palestinian Fatah party and the Hamas terrorist group that rules the Gaza Strip, as well as the “total lack of trust between the parties, at all levels, between the leaders and the nations.”

“One cannot hope to achieve better results while resorting to the same outlooks and tools which have failed time after time previously,” Rivlin said.

Rivlin also addressed European criticism of Israel, which he described as misguided and at times unfair.

“I feel that the massive criticism aimed at Israel in Europe stems from, inter alia, a misunderstanding and an impatience toward this existential need of the Jewish Nation and the State of Israel,” he said. “There are those who feel anger and frustration toward certain European actions, vis-à-vis what they perceive as sometimes unfair criticism, sometimes even contaminated by elements of condescension, and some would even say double standard.”

“If Europe is interested in serving as a constructive factor in striving for a future agreement, it will be incumbent upon you its leaders, to focus efforts at this time in a patient and methodic building of trust. Not through divestments, but through investment; not by boycotts, but by cooperation,” Rivlin added.

Despite his blistering critique of Europe’s attitude toward Israel and his stark assessment of the possibility of a long-term peace deal in the near future, Rivlin stressed that Israel seeks peace.

“I speak to you today in the name of a nation which abhors war and desires life and peace,” he said. “Being well versed in the Israeli Parliament, I do know that any political agreement brought before the Israeli Knesset by an elected government will be approved.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

‘Support Israel — Leave Europe’ Campaign Encourages Brits to Drop EU Ties [video]

Monday, May 9th, 2016

A group of concerned British ex-pats and Israelis has launched a public campaign to encourage pro-Israel Britons to “vote leave” in the upcoming EU Referendum.

The “Support-Israel — Leave Europe” website focuses on four major reasons why Zionists should oppose the EU and seek to weaken it by encouraging Britain to leave. The first reason is the fact that the EU has spent millions on aid money to the Arabs, much of which has ended-up in the hands of convicted terrorist murderers, including those who brutally killed five members of the Fogel family. Second, the illegal EU funded building of more than 1,000 structures for Arabs across Area C in an attempt to establish a de-facto Palestinian State. Third, the recent EU directive encouraging the labeling of Israeli goods made in Judea and Samaria, which amounts to state-sponsored anti-Semitism. Fourth, the hundreds of anti-Israel NGOs that receive hundreds of millions of pounds directly and indirectly from the European Union in an effort to de-legitimize the Jewish State.

Ari Briggs, international director of land monitoring and legal advocacy NGO Regavim, explained the rationale behind the campaign: “For decades the European Union has meddled in Israeli affairs to the detriment of the Jewish State. For thousands of Israel supporters in the United Kingdom and ex-pats around the globe, it’s pay back time. We call on everyone that supports Israel to “vote leave’ and deal a major blow to this mammoth bureaucracy that has an unhealthy obsession with Israel.”

“We encourage all eligible ex-pats in Israel and elsewhere to make sure they are on the electoral registry before the June 7 deadline to ensure they can vote,” Briggs added, saying “all the information needed is provided on our website: supportisraelleaveeurope.com

Regavim is dedicated to ensuring responsible, legal and accountable use of Israel’s national land. By investigating claims on the ground level, Regavim protects national land interests, presenting its findings in the form of white papers and legal action, in addition to briefing the press and diplomatic corps.

JNi.Media

Anti-Semitism in Austria ‘Highest in Years’

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

A Jewish organization in Vienna says anti-Semitism in Austria is at its highest level in years.

The group representing the Jewish community is an NGO (non-governmental organization) called the Israelitischen Kultusgemeinde, or IKG.

Data presented to the IKG by a second group, the Forum Against Anti-Semitism (Forum gegen Antisemitismus) indicates last year there were 465 incidents involving anti-Semitism, as compared to 255 such incidents in 2014 – an 82 percent rise.

In 2015, nearly half of the incidents involved Islamic anti-Semitism online (205 cases), according to IKG President Oskar Deutsch. There were 85 anti-Semitic incidents online in 2014.

Around 15,000 Jews live in Austria.

“There is an increasing concern in our community that – if the proportion of Muslims in Austria continues to rise due to immigration, due to the refugees – this could become problematic for us,” IKG secretary-general Raimund Fastenbauer told the European Jewish Press.

The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) has urged the European Union and its member states to increase efforts to combat widespread anti-Semitic cyber hate.

Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz reacted to the report by affirming, “Jewish life must be protected in Austria. It is the duty of the state to make Jewish people in Austria feel secure; that is for us as Austria a great responsibility.”

However, Sebastian did not outline any concrete plan to address the issue, nor did he offer any suggestion to the Jewish community on how to mitigate the threat.

Hana Levi Julian

Hezbollah More Isolated Among Arab Nations With Closer Ties to Iran

Friday, April 8th, 2016

While the Lebanon-based Iranian proxy Hezbollah terror organization is growing in its worldwide influence, it is slowly being squeezed into isolation in the Arab world.

Both the Beirut Arab satellite operator “Nilesat” and “Arabsat” have cut their transmissions of the Al-Manar television channel.

Al Manar is the official media outlet of Hezbollah.

For the time being, Hezbollah is carrying on its media activities via the Russian satellite, broadcasting on RT Arabic (Russia Today), according to telecommuncations expert Tony Hayek, who was quoted by A-Sharq Al-Awsat, owned by Saudi Arabia.

The group itself has also been squeezed out of Arab brotherhood organizations, largely through the efforts of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, which withdrew a significant sum for military aid from Lebanon this year.

The Gulf Cooperation Council and then the Arab League as well both officially declared Hezbollah to be a terrorist entity. The declaration carries severe implications financially as well as socially for members of the group when they travel abroad and in terms of their banking affairs.

Hezbollah is listed as a terrorist organization in the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada and Israel. However, the EU and UK make a distinction between the group’s military and “political” wings.

The terror group’s Lebanese parliamentarian, Nawwaf Moussawi accused Lebanese authorities of not taking effective measures against the A-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

The Saudi-owned newspaper, which is based in London, carried a satiric cartoon about the Iranian proxy group earlier in the month. According to a report by the newspaper its Beirut offices were targeted by a gang of unnamed attackers.

The vandals broke into the offices of the newspaper in Lebanon, and wrecked the premises. Seven of the attackers are currently being held by authorities; an eighth is still at large. Trial of the detainees set to begin Monday, A-Sharq Al-Awsat reported.

Even as its star may be fading in the Middle East, however, Hezbollah is growing new tentacles elsewhere in the world.

A Hezbollah terrorist cell in Europe was recently arrested by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency for drug trafficking and money laundering.

The terrorist organization has established business relationships with a number of drug cartels in South America, according to DEA acting deputy administrator Jack Riley.

Hezbollah has been known for years to be running operations through Mexico as well.

Hana Levi Julian

Report: Germany Spied on Israel’s PM, US, UK, EU, Vatican & OPEC

Saturday, April 2nd, 2016

Germany’S BND Spied on Netanyahu, US, UK, Austrians and Others

Germany’s BND (Federal Intelligence Service) reportedly has been spying on the office of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according a report Saturday by the German weekly Der Spiegel.

The Prime Minister’s Office declined to comment on the report.

Israel’s espionage agency provided deep intelligence to Germany about an imminent terror attack on a list of targets. The alert, which included the Hanover soccer stadium, came just days after the Nov. 13 (2015) terror attacks in Paris, according to a report in the Stern weekly. German Chancellor Angela Merkel was set to attend the match together with other government officials to show solidarity with the French.

The BND pretty much has been spying on everyone, according to the report in Der Spiegel, which is what international intelligence agencies do. But it’s considered very bad form to get caught in the process, especially by media, who nearly always expose a spy agency for doing so.

Germany’s BND has been caught by Der Spiegel more than once, which prompts other media to wonder what this is really about.

The German weekly also reported the BND spied on American diplomats placed in various locations around Europe, the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Air Force and NASA, the U.S. space agency.

Other targets that were under the German spy agency’s surveillance were the British Ministry of Defense, the International Monetary Fund, the interior ministers of Austria and Belgium and the headquarters of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Six months ago Der Spiegel reported the BND was monitoring all communication devices of the embassies and consulates belonging to the U.S., UK, France, Sweden, Spain and other nations. It also spied on the Vatican, the headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva, U.S. diplomats at the United Nations and in Brussels, the U.S. Department of the Interior, NATO officials and European Union states.

Apparently, Merkel took the American president at his word when he said last week at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington D.C.: ““We’re all going to have to do more when it comes to intelligence sharing.”

Hana Levi Julian

3 More Terrorists Charged in Brussels Airport, Metro Attacks

Sunday, March 27th, 2016

Officials say three more terror suspects were charged in the Islamic State (ISIS) attacks on Zaventem Airport and the metro station near the headquarters of the European Union in Brussels last week.

Faycal Cheffou, the man in the light vest and dark hat seen in the airport CCTV video footage last week was arrested Thursday. The Belgian Federal Prosecutor’s Office said he was charged with “involvement in a terrorist group, terrorist murder and attempted terrorist murder,” according to Fox News. Belgian media said Cheffou was a local activist known to police as an agitator who tried to convert local homeless and asylum-seekers to radical Islam.

Two other suspects arrested Thursday, Raba N. and Aboubakar A., were both charged with “involvement in the activities of a terrorist group.”

On Sunday, police in Italy arrested an Algerian suspect in Bellizzi in the Salerno province, according to the ANSA Italian news agency.

The Algerian suspect is wanted by Belgian authorities on suspicion of producing fake residency documents linked to the Brussels Attacks, Italian National Police told CNN. In addition, he is also wanted in connection with the Nov. 13 terrorist massacre in Paris, police said in a statement on Twitter.

An American couple has been identified among the dead from last Tuesday’s attack in Brussels.

Justin and Stephanie Shults, ages 30 and 29 respectively, were missing since last Tuesday. Both were graduates of Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management. They were dropping off Stephanie’s mother at the airport when the bombers detonated their explosives. The mother emerged unscathed.

Officials revised the death toll from the Brussels attacks to 28, removing the bodies of the three suicide bombers from the count. Thus far, 24 of the victims have been identified by Brussels officials.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/3-more-terrorists-charged-in-brussels-airport-metro-attacks/2016/03/27/

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